People with multiple sclerosis should make every effort to preserve their general health. A healthy diet, sufficient rest, establishing priorities to conserve energy, and developing emotional support networks can all be very helpful.
Patients with MS can benefit from various rehabilitation services to help them cope with the physical and emotional symptoms of their condition.
Physical Therapy. Physical therapists can provide professional guidance on exercise programs. Patients with MS should engage in a variety of exercises including stretching, muscle strengthening, and range-of-motion. Exercise can help reduce fatigue and relieve muscle spasticity. Physical therapists can also provide advice on how to best use mobility aids (canes, crutches, scooters) and other assistive devices.
Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapists help patients learn how to improve their functioning and independence within their home and workplace environments. They can provide professional advice on what sort of adaptive tools, such as grab bars, should be used in the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen. Occupational therapists may also be able to evaluate and treat problems with thinking and memory.
Vocational Therapy. Vocational therapists provide guidance on how patients can best manage in the workplace.
Speech/Language Therapy. Speech/language therapists treat problems with speech and communication, and can also help address problems with swallowing.
Psychological Therapies. Psychotherapy can help patients and their families cope with a difficult and chronic disease.
Review Date: 06/17/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.